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Homework Help: Astronaut Acceleration Question

  1. Sep 19, 2007 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Three astronauts, propelled by jet backpacks, push and guide a 160 kg asteroid toward a processing dock, exerting the forces shown in Fig. 5-31, with F1 = 30 N, F2 = 36 N, F3 = 58 N, 1 = 27°, and 3 = 55°. What is the asteroid's acceleration (a) in unit-vector notation and as (b) a magnitude and (c) a direction relative to the positive direction of the x axis?? (give the magnitude of the angle)

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I don't really know where to start on this problem, do I just use the F=ma formula for each force and solve for a? How can I put it in unit vector notation?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 19, 2007 #2


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    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Apply F = ma in each coordinate separately
    Simply use pythagorus to get the overall magnitude ( no diagram I assume the directions are in x,y,z?)
    To get the overal direction just draw a force diagram and do the trig.
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